The first camera I used was my Dad's Pentax Spotmatic (which he still has). The first camera that was mine was a Ricoh SLR given to me by one of my Grandparents for a grade 6 field trip. That lasted for a bit until I got another hand me down in the form of a Canon AE1-P that served me all through highschool yearbook. In yearbook one of the other students was a photo junkie and bought a used F3, and then I got hooked on Nikon.
I worked for a year as the schools gopher for minimum wage and saved enough to buy an F4 when it came out. I still have the F4 and just picked up an F6. Along the way in University I dabbled in 4x5, and ended up building one of the Bender kits. Last year the buddy who indroduced me to Nikon gifted me his Calumet 8x10, so I've been having fum making contact prints.
Canon AE-1, mid production.... Early 80's model... Was given to me by my step dad. Had the 50mm, 1.4 as well as some 20-200 Vivitar.. I now have this one and a "Program" that I use quite often. Both have been cleaned and rebuilt...
I love grabbing all of my FD lenses, both bodies and a few other bits and going on a road trip....
1963: Kodak Instamatic (junked)
1970: Konica S2 (sold it)
1971: Mamiya-Sekor 1000DTL (junked)
1978: Olympus 35RC (still use it)
1982: Nikon FM2 (still use it)
1982: Konica TC (junked)
1984: Nikon FE-2 ( - still use it)
1986: Yashica A (still use it)
1986: Crown Graphic
2001: Zone VI Lightweight ((out shooting with it today)
Yup - it's a gadget trap!
My first was a Konica P&S with fix focus, one shutter speed and two apertures (named 100/200 and 400 ISO). Flash can be turned on and off manually. No automatic stuff. I have taken lots of pictures with it when I was on vacation and school trips back then (I am 25 and "back then" is 1990).
I didn't get any other cameras until 2001 when I bought an Olympus Digital Camera (great thing) and it brought my interest to life. Then I asked my father to find his SLR and let me borrow it. Then I was out shooting with a Pentax Spotmatic with 50mm and 135mm. Great!
Some months later I got my own SLR. Canon EOS 300 with 28-105 and 70-300 Sigma lenses. Then later I got a Canon EOS 7E and a Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8, and a flash was added, too.
Now I use the Canon EOS 7E and the all the lenses plus Olympus OM-1 and Mamiya 500TL.
Like many others, my first camera was a Brownie. After that was a 110 instamatic.
At 14 I had to get an SLR for a beginner photography class in HS, so knowing absolutely nothing I saved up my paper-route money and got a Yashica FX-3 with a 50mm lens. It was fully manual and forced me to learn about everything which turns around metering.
Unfortunately, an acquaintance decided to take my FX-3 out in a boat in order to take some pics of me sailing (he did it without my permission) and dropped the camera into the lake. I was both angry and very sad at the same time. I replaced the FX-3 with a Minolta X-700 and went from there. Funny thing, though, I still only use the X-700 in manual mode, although my wife uses it in automatic mode.
Max Power, he's the man who's name you'd love to touch! But you mustn't touch! His name sounds good in your ear, but when you say it, you mustn't fear! 'Cause his name can be said by anyone!
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I'm glad this thread was resurrected--very interesting stories from all.
My first camera was a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye when I was a kid. I annoyed everyone with that camera. I can still hear my mother telling me to stop wasting film.
My first "real" camera was a Mamiya-Sekor 500DTL bought (as best I can remember) in late 1972. It had a 50mm f/2 lens. I was broke after buying it and 3-4 rolls of film. I shot a lot of Tri-X because it was cheap to shoot and black and white was cheap to have printed at the drugstore. I learned to love black and white photographs.
I quickly got seriously interested in photography. By the spring of 1973, I had sold the Mamiya and bought a used Nikon Photomic FTn with Nikkor 50/1.4 and a couple of truly wretched used third party lenses. I also set up a darkroom with a used but decent Vivitar enlarger. I worked at my job during the day, shot pictures of anything and everything after work and on weekends and processed film and printed late into the night. I was obsessed. I seldom slept. I remember trying to catch up on my sleep by coming home after work, going directly to bed and sleeping around the clock. I did this a couple of times a month, thinking it was doing me good. Within a year, I quit my job, spent a few months making pictures and putting together a portfolio. By the summer of 1975, I got my first newspaper job.
Mine was a "Mini Spy Camera" from the back pages of one of my dad's mechanic/tech mags (can't remember the name)... It came with 5 rolls of film, which I shot up that first weekend & then dragged around for at least six years worth of moves (Navy Brat). Finally lost the rolls without getting them developed. I was sure there were Masterpieces on those rolls... especially the pictures I took of a slide show at the neighbors house.
The first "real" camera I got to use was a TLR Yashica D in my high school graphic arts class. Had that class for 2 years & don't remember much else about the class other than the darkroom.
After high school I followed in my dad's footsteps & joined the Navy. Bought my first camera at the PX in Long Beach- a Pentax K1000. They had just come out & I bought the first one shipped to the PX. Dragged that thing halfway around the world twice. Sold it to buy the first model Mamiya 645. Kinda wish I could have kept the K1000- it was solid.
John (Alpha Flying Monkey) Moore
A lime green, plastic 620 box camera!!! If it had a brand, I don't remember. Wish I still had it - would be worth $1.50 at any flea market, but priceless to me.
My first camera was a Polaroid Zip. I still have it today. As far as I know, it still works. After that, it was the Kodak Instamatic 110, the Kodak Disk (still have that too). Went to Europe in 1986 with my dad's Canon AE-1 Program and a 50 mm and 135 mm lenses. I used that camera for a long time (I have it, mostly because I used it more than he did). Used to have an A-1, but recently sold a lot of the gear that wasn't being used as much as it should. The first camera I bought was a Canon Elan IIe. After having battery door problems, that camera was sold and put towards a Leica M6TTL. I later bought a Mamiya 7II, a Toyo 45AII, an Ansco 8x10 and a Hasselblad 501CM.
Of the antique cameras, the ones I think are neat are the Folding Pocket Kodak Model 3A and the Kodak Retina IIa.
I sound like an equipment geek again! Oh well, I've pared down my 'collection' and there are several I didn't mention, but this post is too long as it is.
Your description fits my first camera; a Tower Snappy 620 I got at Sears in '61, near Houston, TX.
Last edited by Lee L; 03-30-2008 at 08:01 PM. Click to view previous post history.